Recently Trying asked if anyone else was relieved that the holidays were over. Count me in.
We actually had very pleasant holidays. All the AC were home. The chilly DIL acknowledged us this Christmas. No issues, no confrontations. No arguments, no tears. All very pleasant.
I realize, however, that I am a complete non-entity for the duration of the visit.
I can't ask any questions - because they are adults and for me to ask any questions would be considered nosy and intrusive (other than questions about the weather, of course).
Certainly I have never given unsolicited advice - but I cannot even express an opinion in a general sense because they would take it personally and consider it to be meddling.
I can ask questions of my friends, because they realize a question is simply a question - nothing more. I can express an opinion to my friends, because they realize it is simply my opinion in a general sense, not a directive on how they should live their lives. In other words, I can be myself. I can have conversations and share thoughts.
With ACs, particularly chilly DIL, since one cannot ask questions or make statements about much other than the weather, I find myself essentially a non-entity during the visit. Several images come to mind ---
Putting a straight-jacket on my personality.
Being a Stepford Mom/MIL
Neutering any personality I might have.
Thank goodness they're all gone.